Master of Engineering: Chemical Technology
Master of Science
EducationThe Master of Science in Chemical Engineering programme is primarily aimed at applying chemical engineering principles to develop technical products and to design, control and improve industrial processes. Consequently, the underlying chemistry of the elements and components, their properties and mutual reactions are not the main focal points of the programme. Students also learn to take environmental and safety issues into account during all phases of the process (research, development, design and operation). Two guiding principles of sustainable development - the rational exploitation of resources and energy, and the application of the best available technology - are emphasised, as well as the mantra "reduce, reuse, recycle".
As a chemical engineering student, you will learn to think in a process-oriented manner and to grasp the complexity of physico-chemical systems. Even more than other specialists, you will be asked to solve problems of a very diverse nature. Insights into processes at the nano and micro scale are fundamental for the development of new products and/or (mega-scale) technologies.
The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering is an initial Master's programme. You can follow this programme on a full-time or part-time basis.
ProfileThe programme is based on the first part of the Bachelor's programme, which provides a general background in the basic sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry) in combination with a number of well-chosen introductory technical courses of which, for chemical technology, the course General and Technical Chemistry is deemed an absolute minimum. In the second part of the Bachelor's programme, basic principles of chemical technology are stressed in addition to the basic scientific and technical knowledge of the first part. The foundational courses of this curriculum are 'Separation Processes', 'Environmental Technology with an Introduction to Analytical Chemistry', 'Polymers' and 'Chemical Reactors and Bioreactors'. To acquire design experience, students utilise different knowledge domains and complete shared projects (Problem Solving and Engineering Design 3). The first part of the Bachelor's programme as well as the more chemical- and technological-focused second part are essential foundations for the Master of Science in Chemical Technology. Prospective students coming from a programme other than the Bachelor's programme must present their previous study results to the teaching commission before gaining admission to the programme. If necessary, some students will be required to complete a shortened Bachelor's programme or a bridging programme before gaining admission to the Master's programme.
The Master's programme builds on the pillars of the Bachelor's programme. After consultation with the Industrial Advisory Board, the deliberate choice was made to opt for a broad, generic core curriculum, which is then strengthened and honed during the second year of the programme, when students select one of the three specialisations: product, process and environmental engineering.
For specific admission requirements, click on the desired programme in the 'Choose your courses of study' section.
ObjectivesThe Department of Chemical Engineering attempts to ally classical with modern chemical technology throughout its education and research. The classical process-oriented way of thinking is more and more complemented with a product-oriented approach. This, combined with the underlying rationale of sustainable development, explains the motivation behind the programme's three subdomains: Process Engineering, Product Engineering and Environmental Engineering.
Upon completion of the programme, graduates will:
- posses a profound knowledge of thermodynamics, transport phenomena, physical and mechanical separation processes, reactor engineering, process optimisation and control, system analysis of chemical processes, bioprocess engineering, polymer engineering and analytical chemistry
- have acquired knowledge and skills for the design of chemical production units and products
- demonstrate dedicated attention for the environment and safety - have acquired skills in the rational usage of resources, energy and the application of the best available technology
- have gained sufficient skills and training to perform scientific research
- have acquired the skills (i) to independently infer new insights to design new methodologies, (iii) to interpret results within the chemical engineering domain and (iv) to apply these skills in a research-oriented or industrial context.
After graduationAs a chemical engineer you will predominantly work in industrial branches involved in (the production of) bulk and specialty chemicals, oil and natural gas (petrochemical companies and refineries), non-ferrometallurgics, energy, waste treatment, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The following professional activities lie before you:
- design, planning and building of installations ('project engineer')
- monitoring and optimisation of existing processes ('process engineer')
- design/formulation and optimisation of products ('product engineer')
- R&D of technical products, processes and devices
- customer services, retailing ('sales engineer')
Apart from these traditional career options, graduates of the Master of Science in Chemical Engineering are also much appreciated in other sectors for their insight in complex processes. Chemical engineers are often employed in the financial and governmental sector, for instance, to supervise industrial activities, deliver permissions and compose regulations with respect to safety and environmental issues. As self-employed persons, chemical engineers work in engineering offices or as consultants. Chemical engineers are often also quite successful as entrepreneurs.
Information sessionsKU Leuven organises a Verderstudeerbeurs each spring. In addition, faculties also organise information sessions for many of their bridging and graduate programmes.
All information sessions for (future) Master's students
(Inter)nationalOne or two semesters of the programme can be completed abroad in the context of the Erasmus programme. Additionally, you can apply for an industrial internship abroad through the departmental internship coordinator. Such internships take place between the third Bachelor's year and the first Master's year or between the two Master's years.
New in this respect are upcoming exchange programmes with the University of Delaware. The Department of Chemical Engineering is actively involved in the Erasmus Mundus Education Engineering Rheology, which represents an extra asset for the students to explore the university education possibilities beyond Belgium's borders.
The faculty's exchange programmes are complemented by the BEST-network, that is, the Board of European Students of Technology. This student organisation offers the opportunity to follow short courses. The Faculty of Engineering also participates in international networks such as CESAER, CLUSTER and T.I.M.E. More information can be found at http://www.kuleuven.be/erasmus.
SpotlightThe chemical sector is one of the most important economic sectors in Belgium.
It provides approximately 90,000 direct jobs and more than 150,000 indirect jobs. With a 53 billion euro turnover and a 35% share of the total Belgian export, the chemical sector is an indispensable part of the contemporary Belgian economy. In addition, the Antwerp Harbour region is, after Houston in the United States, the world's second most important chemical cluster.
Hence, the future employment of the next generations of chemical engineers is guaranteed.
ContactFaculty of Engineering Science
Prof. dr. Ir. P. Van Puyvelde
Tel. +32 16 32 23 57 of +32 16 32 26 76
Kasteelpark Arenberg 1 bus 2200
tel. + 32 16 32 13 50
fax + 32 16 32 19 82
Study Advice Service
Naamsestraat 80 box 5415
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium
To contact us please complete the contact form on our website.